News

Charting New Territory in the Art Blogosphere

by Hrag Vartanian on May 10, 2013

The limited edition Mobiado USB drive filled with digital art works is available at the Art F City booth at this year's Nada New York (photo courtesy Art F City)

The limited edition Mobiado USB drive filled with digital art works is available at the Art F City booth at this year’s Nada New York (photo courtesy Art F City)

In the world of art blogs the economic models are few and most have yet to be proven, but Art F City (AFC) is trying something new through a booth at this year’s Nada New York art fair, where the Brooklyn-based site and fellow Nectar Ad network cohort has decided to try their hand at selling art.

Paddy Johnson and Rhett of Art F City in their Nada booth (photo by the author) (click to enlarge)

Paddy Johnson and Rhett Jones of Art F City in their Nada booth (photo by the author) (click to enlarge)

Stashed in the corner of the large Nada fair that opened today, AFC has curated a selection of 11 works by well-respected digital artists onto a sleek USB drive by Canadian-based designer and manufacturer of luxury mobile phones Mobiado — it is called AFC Selects.

The artists represented on AFC Selects are Anthony Antonellis, Jacob Ciocci, Paul B. Davis, Rollin Leonard, Sara Ludy, Lorna Mills, Shana Moulton, Jon Rafman, Rafael Rozendaal, Bunny Rogers, and Nicolas Sassoon. Some of these artists have long-standing relationships with AFC, like Jon Rafman, whose “Nine Eyes of Google” project was propelled onto the international stage after being featured on the blog’s IMG MGT series, while others, like Bunny Rogers, have never been featured on the site.

AFC founder and editorial director Paddy Johnson says the funds raised from the sale will help benefit Art F City, its continuing independent coverage of the art world, and help the site continue its popular IMG MGT series that involves a great deal of time commitment on the part of editorial staff — the series has been on hiatus since 2011.

Coordinated by AFC’s development officer Rhett Jones, AFC Selects is a truly unique way to support the online work of a nonprofit blog that is embedded in the digital arts scene.

The labels for each of the 11 works are presented in a very computer aesthetic. And a specially designed AFC site — which is not public yet — shows potential collectors more information about each artist. (photo by the author for Hyperallergic)

The labels for each of the 11 works on AFC Selects are presented in a very computer aesthetic. And a specially designed AFC site — which is not public yet — shows potential collectors more information about each artist. (photo by the author for Hyperallergic)

“I told someone earlier today that as a critic you spend your time looking at hundreds of works of art and manning a booth you spend your time talking about the same work hundreds of times,” Paddy Johnson says. “Here, we’ve had a chance to talk with and to a lot of regular readers, and that’s been really great. The interesting thing about the publishing world is that it gives you the opportunity to connect with many people who you may never meet. This gives us a chance to change that for at least a few readers.”

Does Johnson see a conflict between being a blog with an independent perspective that writes and criticizes contemporary art and selling works by some of the same artists? “Sure, but I think the journalistic model that assumes the most objective voice is a detached one is flawed,” she says. “Art reflects the communities that make it and for some of us, the best way to gain a comprehensive understanding is by being a participant.”

Priced at $650, AFC Selects is available starting today in an edition of 100 and nine have already been sold.

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